SPICEGASM.COM My travel tales and food hunting

October 1, 2010

Delicious street food in Ratchada

Filed under: Food,Thailand,Travel — Alex @ 12:00 pm

If someone claims that they are food expert in Bangkok, I think he would need to regularly eat out for the past 10 years to state that claim. Almost every area of Bangkok has great food. You don’t even need to go to a fancy restaurant to actually experience quality Thai dishes. Street foods in Asia are slowly getting recognition among the Westerners these days. This is probably due to the popularity of food documentaries featuring Anthony Bourdain and Anthony Zimmern.

Yesterday I told Zach that I will bring him to eat some really good Thai fried Chicken. My friend has been living in Ratchada for the past 5 years and he has no idea about the delicious fried chicken. I don’t blame him as there’s no way for him to know every good food around his area. There’s just too many and I think in order to know every good food around his area, he needs to make eating his full time job.

The distance between the Thai fried chicken stall from his home is around 1 km. Walking is the best option as we get to exercise and also get to see other food vendors that we might have not noticed before in the past. Finally after 15 minutes of walking, we arrived at Soi 13, Ratchada and I can already smell the aroma of the Thai fried chicken. I ate at this stall 2 years ago and it was by chance that I stumbled upon this stall. I can never forget the taste and always make a point to eat it when I visit Bangkok.

The owner of the fried chicken stall is busy frying his delicious chickens. His stall is actually a tricycle modified into a stall at the same time. Even though his stall is mobile, but this has been his spot for years in Soi 13, Ratchada.

I kinda gestured to the owner like I am asking permission to snap pictures of him and his stall. Even though is only sign language but I guessed he understood it and gladly posed for me while he was frying his chicken. I wish I could speak Thai and asked more about him and his stall.

This is the big wok he uses to fry his chicken daily. The aroma really made us hungry. There’s no tables and chairs for you to dine in. You either eat the fried chicken while standing there or “take out”.

Our fried chicken that just came out from the wok. It’s really piping hot and I suggested to Zach that we will find a restaurant and devour our chicken right away. I want to strike the fried chicken while it is really hot and I don’t like the idea of walking back home for another 15 more minutes before I can sink my teeth into those juicy fried chicken. We ordered 4 pieces of chicken and per piece is 45 BHT. We already decided to pig out as we did not eat breakfast. Just 10 meters away from the road side stall I saw a restaurant. I decided to go eat my fried chicken there and by ordering some food and drinks from the restaurant, we will be allowed to bring outside food the restaurant.

Notice the restaurant at the far left of the picture? There’s where we went to whallop our fried chicken. Good thing about Bangkok is that almost every restaurant will serve good food. No matter how run down the restaurant or stall might be, the food is definitely more than edible.

We ordered this dish of raw shrimp soaked in lime juice. It has a special kind of chili dip with mixture of lime juice in it.  Really tasty stuff.

Thai version of kangkung belacan. Is commonly known as stir fry morning glory in English.  We also ordered one rice and 2 bottles of mineral water. The total bill was 160 BHT. We didn’t really mind as the food that they served was good and most importantly allowed us to eat our fried chicken.

Zach with his fried chicken, I mean used to be a fried chicken, now is only bone. Judging from the picture of the chicken bone, I think Zach enjoyed it very much.

For those of you who can read Thai, this is the Ratchada Soi 13 Fried Chicken Stall signboard.

I prefer Asian type of fried chicken compared to the Western style. Asian style fried chicken has very little or no batter at all. It uses a lot of spices to marinate it for long hours to make the chicken really tasty. Compared to the Western fried chicken, Asian style fried chicken is not as crispy because of no batter or flour. It is still crispy enough and very juicy. So if you are somewhere near Ratchada, do give this fried chicken stall a try and would love to listen to your feedback.

September 28, 2010

What should I blog about Bangkok

Filed under: Food,Thailand,Travel — Alex @ 4:19 am

Been to Bangkok many times but this is actually my first time in Bangkok as a blogger. So I am pretty excited to capture my experience and turn it into blog posts. Since I love food and Thailand being one of the countries that is well known for it’s superior food, food is definitely going to be my main topic. I wasn’t really feeling well when I arrived and I haven’t been really eating those Thai spicy food. Yesterday night I felt a bit better and the first thing I did was to indulge myself with a big pot of spicy Tom Yum seafood. There’s more to Thai food rather than just the ever popular Tom Yum. Since I do not speak Thai, it is always easy to just order Tom Yum. It has became a ritual to me, my Thailand trip would not be completed if I did not eat Tom Yum.

Also another common dish that I ordered was the Crab Meat Fried Rice. The fried rice cost me 40BHT ( 1.30 USD ) and the Tom Yum seafood soup 100 BHT ( 3.30 USD ). The Tom Yum is actually good for 2 person. The meal is definitely cheap by any standard.

My Tom Yum Seafood. In the soup it has fish meat, squid, shrimp and mushrooms. I might want to go to those 1 day cooking classes just to learn more about Thai spices. The cooking schools are more for tourist rather than aspiring chef or cook.

I just love the pot that is being used to serve the Tom Yum soup.

The tasty Crab Meat Fried Rice. The amount of crab meat in the fried rice is so generous. Every bite there’s crab meat in it, so for 40 BHT is really a good price. Normally I would eat this with fish sauce and bird’s eye chili. Since I just got well, I don’t wanna push my luck. Just sacrifice one meal without the spicy chili and I can enjoy my future meals through out my stay here.

May 23, 2010

Khao Man Gai – Thai Chicken Rice

Filed under: Food,Thailand,Travel — Alex @ 8:30 am

We loved the run down joint so much that we decided to go back there again for lunch the next day. If you are curious where this place is, it is just at the corner of Soi 7, Ratchada. Soi means street in Thai.

When we arrived at the run down joint, we saw a stall with very long line of people. It is a stall selling Khao Man Gai. So seeing the line is long, the chicken rice must be good and famous. I decided to join the line and will order chicken rice for me and Zach. ( joining to cue up upon seeing a long line is a famous Singaporean traits by the way )

The chicken rice is really affordable. It cost 30 BHT for small and 35 BHT for big. I decided to order 2 big ones. One for me and one for Zach. The stall offers 2 types of chicken. Boiled white chicken and crispy fried chicken cutlets. I decided to get one each and can do so sharing testing with Zach. For 35 BHT, the chicken rice set comes with the fragrant chicken rice, chopped chicken leg ( you can specify to the owner which part you like best ), a complimentary soup and 3 types of dips. The dips consists of chili, fermented black beans and thick soya sauce. The chicken rice is also served with some slice cucumbers. So basically everything you need for a meal is here. The complimentary soup is really tasty as you can see a lot of chicken feet and necks in the soup.

Singapore is also famous for chicken rice. I’ve never made this dish myself as it takes a lot of effort and work to make this dish. I would say is quite hard and need a bit of cooking skills to make a decent chicken rice. I never bothered trying as chicken rice in Singapore just cost 2 SGD – 3 SGD. Is so convenient to just order from your neighborhood food court. Maybe one of these days I will gather up some courage to try to make this famous dish.

May 22, 2010

Thailand the land of smile and food

Filed under: Food,Thailand,Travel — Alex @ 8:10 am

February 2010 I was in Bangkok visiting my good friend. My friend is from America and has been living in Bangkok for the past 4 years. He is also a great fan of good food and is very open minded for a Caucasian guy. So being the self proclaimed Asian food expert that I am, I took the responsibility of trying to show him the real deal of Thai food. This is not an easy task as he has been living there for 4 years. And he is not the type that only eats Western food 24/7. With him having an ex Thai girlfriend makes my job even harder. ( He is very single now and good looking. Rumors has it that he prefers Pinay. I will post his picture one of these days. So if you are a Filipina reading my blog, please come back often )

We had a good time eating Thai food while I was there. Most of the food that I wanted to intro to him, he already knew. I was surprised that he even LOVE this Thai dish name namprik. Is more of a dip rather than a dish. The Filipino would call it sausauan. The main ingredient of this dip is made of chili, fish sauce, lime and belacan ( something similar to bagoong but smell and taste stronger ). This namprik is good with fried fish, fried omelet and also raw vegetables like long beans, cabbage, cucumber and some funky leaves that I don’t even know it in English.

Is quite odd for Western folks to like namprik as the smell is pungently funky. I am sure you can relate the odd feeling when you see a Puti proclaiming for the love for bagoong. So I decided to bring him to a run down place that I spotted that is near to his condo. Since he has tasted most of the food that I wanted to recommend I assume that he never ate in this run down place before. My guess was spot on and I did not even have to convince him to go as this guy is game for anything when it comes to food.

The secret of finding good food in Thailand is to eat where the locals go. DO NOT go to a 5 star Hotel in Bangkok and eat Thai food. The taste is altered to suit the foreigner’s taste buds and the worst part of it, the PRICE. So back to this run down place that has many different stalls ( maybe up to 15 ) selling different types of food. You have the choice of noodle dishes ( Thai Nooden as the Thai would pronounced it ) and also rice dishes. They are also vendors selling dessert and fruits. The run down joint has a big common area with tables and chairs and surrounded by stalls. Well, basically it just looked like a food court without air conditioning.

So we walked around and decided to go with rice dishes as Zach spotted namprik. So I took the liberty of ordering for both of us. I ordered a fried catfish, egg omelet, raw vegetables, namprik ( normally this dip comes for free when you order those raw vegetables ). We also order another pork dish that is very spciy. It is minced pork with lots of spices in it and it taste so damn good. If you have been reading up to now, I think is time for me to post some pictures so that you don’t have to kill your brain cells by imagining how the food looks like.

Namprik with fried catfish, egg omelet and variety of fresh vegetables. Namprik is a dip where it goes really well with fried food and raw vegetables.

Spicy mince pork name Kuk King Moo. I’m not sure if the spelling or pronunciation is correct. I am just an expert in eating but not with the names.

I swear to God it was really like a grand feast. We always over did it when it comes to ordering food. By right for that lunch, namprik with raw vegetables and the fried cat fish with rice is good enough. But hey, we are in Bangkok and is such a waste of opportunity with we do not order more. After all we can go to the gym later which most of the time I fail to do. So our lunch cost us around 80 BHT. Is probably 110 Pesos if converted. It was lunch hour for the office people and the run down joint is packed. I can’t help to noticed that all the Thai office worker looks so happy when they are ordering their favorite food. The place does not only cater for office workers but we see also laborers and tuk tuk drivers ( Thai version of trike ). Most of them might not be wealthy but they just look so happy. Maybe this is due to the fact that good food is still very much affordable in Bangkok.

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